Damping Grease

Designers and manufacturers have used damping greases for more than 50 years as an economical way to build fine tolerances into their products. The “velvet feel” and virtually silent operation of the focusing mechanisms on microscopes, zoom lenses on 35mm cameras, and other optical instruments, and the fact that the lens doesn’t continue to “coast” when the mechanism is stopped, are all the results of a damping grease applied to the focusing threads. Damping greases are also widely used for electronic controls such as potentiometers, where they ensure smooth, quiet, controlled motion, and make possible very precise settings, very cost-effectively, that could not otherwise be made by hand. They are also found in gear trains and gear motors, appliance controls, electric switch mechanisms, outdoor recreation equipment, laser controls, television tuners, and in many automotive, hand-actuated or instrument panel control applications, where “quality feel” usually indicates the presence of a damping grease.

When selecting a damping grease, objective and subjective criteria apply. Objectively, damping greases must retain their damping qualities throughout the temperature range of the application, so careful attention should be paid to the temperature range of each grease. More subjectively, damping greases are selected for the “feel” the designer wants to achieve. Generally, the more delicate the device, the lighter the grease. Damping greases come in standard grades, from very light to very heavy and even extreme damping. Importantly, when determining a grade and how much grease to apply to a device, carefully consider the amount of torque available at the lowest operating temperature, when the grease is most viscous.

The Tribosyn 320 series of damping grease is our core range.

The Tribosyn 320 range is a colour coded set of six damping grease from which to choose from. The stiffness or viscosity of the range starts at very light, moving up in grades to a very heavy damping, as show by the blew graphic showing a simplified illustration of damping effect through the range:

For the more technical minded reader, we offer a different chart showing the base oil viscosity of the Tribosyn 320 range. When a damping grease or any grease is formulated, it would be the base oil of the grease that constitutes the largest ingredient in the formula, so in theory, the kinematic viscosity of the base oil would be the main reason the grease is stiffer/has a higher viscosity; this is a rather simplistic statement to help the reader, if more insight into grease formulation is of interested, please watch our video What Is Grease? Below is graphic illustrating how an increasing base fluid/base oil viscosity is used to increase of the damping level or damping characteristic of the Tribosyn 320 series:

What to know more, take a look at our Tech Support website article: Overview of the Damping Grease range (opens in new tab). Also, if you have visited this site to purchase a Nye Lubricants damping grease, we have changed supplier to TriboScience & Engineering (TSE), so you should take a look at our Tech Support website article: Switching from a Nye damping grease to a TSE damping grease (opens in new tab) which has an easy to read product comparison chart.

Some support videos that you may find of interest (once you click on play, you can expand the box to full screen):

Have you seen ourTechnical Supportwebsite (link opens in new tab) where we have more videos, product selection guides and test videos.

Material compatibility problems with the damping greases is not common but we recommend that you consult the Nye compatibility chart that is within the Engineering Reference Chart. If still concerned, consider a compatibility test – see the relevant article at our support website (opens in new window/tab).

The products mentioned above are the more popular from the damping grease range. If you do not find a product that fits your needs then please contact us as we have many more formulations on file for a variety of application types.